Company: Turtle Press
Tape Name: Beginner TKD (TKD35)
Tape Cost: ? (5 tapes for $100)
Length of Tape/Time: 30 minutes
Number of Moves/Techniques: 16
Return Policy: Defective Merchandise or By Authorization
Experiences in dealing with this company: Excellent
The Instructor: Sang H. Kim
Company's Address: 403 Silas Deane Hwy., Wethersfield, CT., 06109
Company's Phone Number: 1-800-778-8785
Web Page:

Primary Grading Criteria:

1. Production/Tape Quality: 9
2. Instructors demonstrated skill level: 9
3. Comprehension Score/Immediate Understanding: 10
4. Degree to which this will make someone a better Martial Artist: 9
5. Score on delivery vs hype: 9
6. Degree to which we would recommend this product: 9
7. Wasted Time ( The higher the number, the less " fluff" /repetition ): 10
8. Playback Score/Watching if over-and-over again: 9
9. Would I purchase more of this company's products:9
10. Overall grade based on cost vs. Value: 9

Grand Total: 92% (Good = 3.0 Stars)

Secondary Grading Criteria:

1. Beginners benefit: Good
2. Intermediate benefit: Good
3. Advanced benefit: Fair
4. Time to benefit: Immediate for most of the material
5. The need to buy additional tapes to understand this one: None

Written Summary:

Sang H. Kim hasn't earned a bunch of "Excellent" scores in our reviews, but he consistently produces "Good" tapes. Most TKD stylists, especially WTF'ers, shouldn't pass up his material.

When reviewing a Beginner TKD tape, like this one, I had to put myself in several different mindsets:

1. Someone who didn't know this art
2. Someone who did, and had helped teach it before
3. A reviewer looking at this tapes benefit to other martial artists, from other styles

Needless to say, that's a lot of hats to wear when reviewing a tape. And # 3, you can't really apply here, because this tape is definitely meant for people interested in TKD. Why do I mention all this? So everyone knows where I'm coming from when I grade a tape like this. OK, enough of that, so what's on the tape?

This is a very basic tape, and in some respects, a REAL intro to TKD. One is shown:

1. Definition
2. Purpose
3. Benefits
4. Origin
5. History
6. Etiquette
7. Uniform/Folding a Uniform Traditionally/Tieing one's belt

# 1 - 7 took up about 5 minutes or so on the tape.

Next it goes into what Kim calls "Techniques", although part of it I would think should more appropriately be called "Commands". He shows:

1. Attention command (Korean: Charyo)
2. Bow (Ken-ya, bare with my spelling)
3. Ready (Chunbi)
4. Relax (Barro)

Left out were important commands such as:

1. Begin (Shejak)
2. About Face (Duiro Dora)
3. At Ease (Sheer, although I've heard some say Show)
4. End (Goman)

And what really surprised me was that Kim left out the Korean count/numbering system. Meaning, how to count from 1-10, which is a basic thing taught to most beginners, at least around here, their first month of classes. Those commands are:

Hanna, Dol, Set, Net, Tausut, Yosut, Ilgope, Yadul, Ahop, Yul. (excuse my spelling!)

Maybe these are things he doesn't teach to his beginners right away. Oh well, to each his own. I'm not going to fault him for that. Even though they were listed as "Techniques" instead of "Commands".

Next Kim shows:

1. Fighting stance (how to properly do one wasn't explained as well as I'd hoped)
2. Front stance (explained OK, but could've done better)
3. Punches : a couple of very basic ones (left out uppercut, hook)
4. Strikes: knifehand, palmheel, elbow (backfist was left out)
5. Kicks: front, roundhouse, side (crescent and heel/hook left out)
6. Footwork: (shows 3 samples, doesn't explain them thoroughly)
7. Forms: Kim demonstrates one form and breaks it down, I believe it was the 1st WTF Poomse.
8. Self Defense Applications: hair grab, front choke, double handed lapel grab, belt grab, front shoulder grab, rear shoulder grab. (left out a few)
9. One Step Sparring: Shows about 8-10 of these, but most were one block & one punch/strike. This is something I personally think, that from the beginning, most TKD instructors do wrong. A one block, one strike mentality, is something you don't want to have become ingrained in ANY students mind (personal opinion). But hey, they were beginners, and I know he has to start somewhere. Maybe at the next rank level, or a couple above, he changes this and teaches multiple strikes when attacking someone.
10. Cool Down - meditation

This was a "Good" tape, as I said before, and could've been an "Excellent" one had a few additional things, some of which I pointed out, been included. Other things I would've like to have seen would've been:

1. Warm Up exercises
2. Stretches
3. A few basic drills for developing ones punches and kicks

If you're reading this it's probably because you're looking for a good beginner TKD tape. If you're interested in the absolute best TKD beginner tape I've ever seen, find Danny Lane's website, email him, and beg him for a copy of one he did a long time ago, which for some weird reason he no longer actively markets. I use to have this tape of his and it was AWESOME! If I could find it and grade it, it would certainly be a "5 Star" tape. I loaned it to an old TKD instructor of mine, he liked it so much he loaned it to another TKD instructor he knew, and now it's supposedly "lost" (Yeah, right!). I guess that just confirms how good it was, heck, the person who ended up with it didn't even want to return it. I found this tape of Lane's in a bargain bin at a store called MacFrugals years ago for like $1.99 (can you believe it?), and in my opinion it's the best tape, out of all the one's of Lane's I've seen. I can't remember the exact title, but I think it was called "Daily Dozen". Boy, I'd give about anything if I could get another copy of it. In it your shown a variety of the common stances, punches, kicks, and blocks one needs to know for TKD. Lane takes you through a quick do-a-long workout, prefaced by warm ups and stretches, that if you follow along for about 30 minutes, will each day take you through about a dozen reps of every punch, kick and block. And as if that wasn't enough, at the end of his tape he shows some great self defense and knife defense techniques, making it an extremely thorough tape for most any beginner. And somehow during the tape, he even fits in explaining "commands" and how to properly do each technique. Lane's tape is without a doubt the BEST beginner TKD tape I've ever seen. Heck, even intermediate students, who can't make it to their TKD classes on certain days, could use it and get a great little quickie workout. One of the best things about Lane's tape was that it was short, 35-45 minutes in length, yet in this time he was able to cover a whole lot of ground. This tape of Lane's is generic TKD, meaning that if you're an ITF, WTF, ATA, USTF, or whatever, it won't matter. He teaches generic punch, kick, blocks, and self defense. It's not only the best beginner TKD tape I've ever seen, but the best TKD follow-a-long workout tape. And I can't find it anywhere, Lane's dropped it from his current product offerings. That I can'f figure out. Why is it that sometimes really GREAT products disappear? I've never understood that!

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